Feneng 3

As the martial arts lesson wound down, Immeasurable-Dagger-of-Brotherhood gestured Feneng over to his side, mopping sweat from his face. "You learn quickly. Welcome to the class."

Feneng finished tying up the sparring mat she was holding and shrugged. "Thank you. I did grow up in Tarag Thán, Master Dagger. We are warriors as well as courtiers."

Immeasurable-Dagger-of-Brotherhood nodded. "Will you join us in the baths?" Feneng looked a bit surprised. "We are priests, you recall."

"Ah, naturally. It would be unseemly to attend the evening prayer reeking of sweat."

"Just so."

Master Dagger's expression suddenly became very serious. Feneng noted that she and the instructor were the only two remaining in the steaming bath; the remainder of the students, acolytes, had scattered to perform their various household duties. "Finds-Comfort-in-Law does not want you here, Refuge."

"What, why?"

"You don't see it in her face? If your family does not take the throne, her line stands to inherit, via Prince Kévezem of Pillar-of-Sky."

Feneng nodded. "The abbess tells me that he is a wicked man." They had only recently reviewed the complex succession traditions of the holy city. "I had thought her eyes were a funny colour."

"He does not like Red Cliff; she is concerned. But he is better than many."

"You say that as though many are also better than him."

"I would not be lying if I said that, either. There are salamanders in that family." When Feneng raised an eyebrow, he yelped, "What? You obviously have a little of the golden blood yourself."


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